Cancer and the risk factors
- Cancer is uncontrolled proliferation of cells.
- In India 7 Lakh new cancer cases reported every year and 5.5 Lakh people die of cancer every year. Most common cancers in our country are lung, Breast, cervical, Stomach and oral cancers.
- 4 in 10 cancer cases could be prevented by lifestyle changes.
- According to the World Health Organization, about 30% of all cancer cases are preventable.
- Tobacco use is the most important cause for cancer and is responsible for approximately 22% of cancer deaths.
What are the risk factors for cancer?
- Increased Age
- Tobacco use
- Diet (junk foods, Salted, canned foods, smoked foods)
- Physical inactivity
- Alcohol use
- Sun exposure
- Environmental exposures :radon, lead, asbestos
- Exposure to infections like hepatitis, HPV, and HIV
What are some general signs and symptoms of cancer?
- Unexplained weight loss : no known reason & more than 10% body weight
- Excessive fatigue
- Pain : headache ,back pain, bone pain.
- Skin changes :Darker looking skin (hyperpigmentation), reddened skin (erythema)
- Change in bowel habits or bladder function: Long-term constipation, diarrhea. Pain when passing urine, blood in the urine, or a change in bladder function.
- Sores that do not heal: a long-lasting sore in the mouth : oral cancer. Sores on the penis or vagina may either be signs of infection or an early cancer.
- White patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue
- Thickening or lump in the breast or other parts of the body
- Recent change in a wart or mole or any new skin change
- Unusual bleeding or discharge : in early or advanced cancer.
Blood in the stool (which can look like very dark or black stool):colon or rectal cancer
Cancer of the cervix or the endometrium : abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Blood in the urine :bladder or kidney cancer.
A bloody discharge from the nipple may be a sign of breast cancer
- Nagging cough or hoarseness
A cough that does not go away : lung cancer, stomach cancer
Hoarseness can be a sign of cancer of the larynx(voice box) or thyroid gland.
Screening for symptoms and early diagnosis are key to cure and to save lives.